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A Question from the Opening of the EE5 Conference


A Question from the Opening of the EE5 Conference

Hi - there were some very interesting insights in the opening of the EE5 Conference - and some great singing!

All of the opening speaker comments about Bollywood, Hollywood and other major global entertainment centers prompt again, for me, a long standing question in the Entertainment-Education field, namely:

Can a programme initiative be classified as Entertainment-Education if it does NOT contain a research component that drives major decision making related to that initiative?

To put it another way, is being research driven the central difference between entertainment-education and entertainment?

And to provide the practical implication of this: In E-E if there is conflict between what the research says and what the creative talent want to produce - then research wins. Not true of entertainment of course.

Agree? Disagree? See some important subtleties?

Please do click on the Read More below and share your thoughts and assessment. (or you can try just replying to this email and sending).

And please do share your thoughts and observations from the opening event.

Thanks - Warren

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Being both research-driven

Being both research-driven and outcome-oriented is an important distinction between entertainment-education and entertainment, but I think it's important that the entertainment component remains central and does not just become a peg for the message. A message doesn't necessarily become engaging simply because it's sung or acted out. Sure, it's a lot better than finger-wagging but often the creatives tend to fall flat because the rendering is so message driven.

I think the fact that EE5 has artistes performing but no interactions slated with artistes on the creative process and what makes for great entertainment AND effective health communication, shows that health communications practitioners and not artistes are in the driving seat. I'd lobby for a more equal partnership.

Education-Entertainment: Does it need an evaluation component?

Warren, absolutely. In my book, unless we attempt to measure the impact the EE product has, to whatever extent one can, we're not doing our job properly. It is difficult sometimes, admittedly, to measure the full extent of the impact, but it's not impossible. Merely quoting the ratings for a TV show or the potential "millions" reached, etc. doesn't really mean anything to me. The question is: Have we changed minds and hearts? Have behaviours changed? Have we been able to measure this, or will we be able to measure it over time? And so on.

As for the opening event at EE5, it was very well put together (although I personally found the puppets just a tad annoying -- but then I obviously need to nurture my inner child!). I enjoyed the addresses by Shabana Azmi and Renuka Chowdhury in particular -- excellent speakers and strong messages a cut above the usual.

Best wishes to everyone for a great EE5.

Research and fun

Research has to be in built and participatory. Every projetc has to go through a "preject" period where we do every possible kind of listening with every possible stakeholder. ME must be fun and on going and come from a sense of ownership of the programme. EE5 I am loving it. Augustine Veliath

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